Nature's Place

Ant Queen …

… Warrior of her kind.

With such a world of beautiful earthly creatures at our feet it’s hard to see why we got caught up in the world of mind, except it is a seductive world of emotional excitation and identification with form. Thinking is habit forming, is addictive.

That’s the way it is. And only appropriate experience is going to change it for real – for real being for enough so it doesn’t have to be any more.

When you tend the garden for long enough you see the most extraordinary things – nothing to get excited about, because I don’t get excited. Lately I have noticed little heaps of light brown clay building up on the dark brown clay around the garden, only a couple inches high and the same wide with a hole in the middle.

They are made by these tiny ants that I hadn’t seen before in the garden and I wondered what they were about, why the excavations, it being so cold and wet. Then these few winged creatures started appearing on the passion fruit leaves.

When I got up close it became apparent they were ants, queen ants. Only the queen has wings, as far as I know, to get to another place to start another colony of ants. So they can get on with the business of looking after the land, what ants do in Oz.

They are tiny, about 12mm long and difficult to get enough in focus but one good one is enough. The digital age has given me the option of throwing away what doesn’t work, not that I throw anything away anyway but I don’t have to spend money I don’t have finding the good ones – is the point.

Photography was once the preserve of the well off, who could afford the money and time. How times change. Times change in such ways that what was once difficult is now easy, or easier for many more than once was. The same goes for everything, not least the art of knowing my self.

It’s not that this has become easier but that more can do it now. I suppose that means it is easier for many but there are still the few who break the ceiling, tear the envelope, crack the code, for those who follow.

Does it look like anything has really changed? Is human nature more compassionate or intelligent today than a thousand years ago? I don’t think so.

What has changed is the appearance of things in the world, material things; we have progressed from the spear to the bomb, from the hole in the ground to the fridge. And the flip side, the inside, is a paradoxical increase in real intelligence.

Not the intelligence of remembering and composing the bits, but the intelligence required to be still. Test it, you are intelligent – can do all sorts of things that are recognised to require intelligence.

Can you still the mind, stop thinking, long enough to see past it, long enough to know peace of mind? Or is that just not one of the actions of intelligence recognised?

I had a dream, now I think I’m going to have to write the book. :)

Mark Berkery ……. Click any picture to enlarge in a new tab


19 Responses

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  1. Jamiun Micheal said, on 20/06/2012 at 5:32 pm

    like…thanks Mark. You are great.

  2. Morrison said, on 13/06/2012 at 10:13 am

    Beautiful specimen and great photography. Love the commentary too. Keep writing.

  3. P. C. Zick said, on 11/06/2012 at 10:58 pm

    There is so much to see in nature if we really look. I sat under the willow tree the other day staring into nothing, but the more I looked, I realized the trunk was alive with ants. Hundreds of them scurrying to destinations unknown by me, but all horribly busy.

    • Mark said, on 11/06/2012 at 11:05 pm

      There is indeed PC. And if you look closer and maybe a little longer you might see the ants guards – the ones who protect the line, their predators – usually spiders that snatch and grab along the line of ants, and the neighbours of many shapes and colours in different seasons.

  4. futuredoll said, on 11/06/2012 at 9:06 pm

    So awesome!

  5. Godfried said, on 11/06/2012 at 8:22 pm

    Nice pictures and good information.

  6. writingthroughitall said, on 11/06/2012 at 2:50 am

    Gorgeous photos again, Mark.

  7. Onibe said, on 11/06/2012 at 2:38 am

    like always: great photos!

  8. suzysomething said, on 11/06/2012 at 2:14 am

    Mark, they are lovely pictures of one of God’s busiest creatures…we have much to learn from them about preparing for “tomorrows”. Your comment that thinking is addictive is something I completely understand…I’ve become addicted to sharing my thinking on my blogs. I also just opened a blog to (eventually/hopefully) share the photos I have yet to take on my new camera– I invite you to visit sometime!

    • Mark said, on 11/06/2012 at 4:57 pm

      Hello Sara. I’ll have a look soon.

      It’s true, thinking is addictive, but more pointedly it is the basis for all addiction – if you didn’t think about it you wouldn’t do it, as a habit.

  9. Rachel Creager Ireland said, on 11/06/2012 at 2:04 am

    I’ll look forward to reading your book! In North America we do have winged ants (ie, the queen not being the only one in the colony who has wings), there are so many species of ants I’ve never studied individually, but I know that much. I believe they also tend to change their behavior when conditions are wet. They say around here that they tend to come into buildings a lot more in wet years, seeking dry places.
    Fantastic photography, as always.

    • Mark said, on 11/06/2012 at 5:00 pm

      Yes, there is every permutation we can imagine and more we don’t know yet. Nature is as diverse as form itself. Some of the ants here always head for the house when the rain is coming. And these little ones probably have advantage in the wet, it makes digging deep all the easier – which is where they seem to be at home.

  10. candacejames said, on 10/06/2012 at 8:24 pm

    Lovely, lovely writing and fantastic pictures =:)

    • Mark said, on 10/06/2012 at 9:16 pm

      Thanks Candace, they are fantastic creatures, our uncomplicated nature …

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